We identified ikaite crystals (CaCO3·6H2O) and examined their shape and size distribution in first-year Arctic pack ice, overlying snow and slush layers during the spring melt onset north of Svalbard. Additional measurements of total alkalinity (TA) were made for melted snow and sea-ice samples. Ikaite crystals were mainly found in the bottom of the snowpack, in slush and the surface layers of the sea ice where the temperature was generally lower and salinity higher than in the ice below. Image analysis showed that ikaite crystals were characterized by a roughly elliptical shape and a maximum caliper diameter of 201.0�115.9 mm (n = 918). Since the ice-melting season had already started, ikaite crystals may already have begun to dissolve, which might explain the lack of a relationship between ikaite crystal size and sea-ice parameters (temperature, salinity, and thickness of snow and ice). Comparisons of salinity and TA profiles for melted ice samples suggest that the precipitation/dissolution of ikaite crystals occurred at the top of the sea ice and the bottom of the snowpack during ice formation/ melting processes.
AWI Organizations > Biosciences > BioGeoScience
AWI Organizations > Graduate Research Schools > POLMAR